High-performance IT consumes power and generates heat in enormous quantities—moving IT energy costs up corporate and even national agendas. Environmental, energy-cost, and space-planning considerations all call for conservation through a combination of operational changes, hardware replacement, and—especially—management software to cut waste and build efficiency.
Continuous inventory of server resources and optimization of their use—particularly in high-availability cluster configurations—helps data centers do more with less, even as they improve performance and service levels. Virtualization offers compelling economies, but demands sophisticated solutions for the availability, visibility, and complexity issues that the technology may introduce.
Storage consumes less power—but is growing much faster. An automated inventory helps disclose underutilized storage and sets the stage for storage tiering, which balances information priority against the speed and cost—including energy cost—of the assets used to store it. Most effective of all are data-protection policies that reduce the storage burden by deduplicating data before concentrating it into a single instance.
Outside the data center, desktop management software offers a wide range of energy-conservation, security, and productivity management capabilities. With appropriate balance among operational, hardware, and software approaches, IT can chart an energy-efficient future that doesn't depend on painful compromises to productivity or service quality.
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